novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

In an earlier post, I lament the impending demise of “Western Civilization.”  Gadfly “Sanity” suggests that, to keep that from happening, we should, “commit to freedom (yay SCOTUS!).”  I can only assume that he was referring to the SCOTUS  decision to allow Gitmo detainees to file habeas corpus writs in federal court.

Viscerally, I do not like the decision.  As far as I’m concerned, terrorists have no rights.  The problem is, who are the terrorists?  Is there no chance at all that someone at Gitmo is wrongly imprisoned?  That is the whole point of a habeas petition.  When a soldier is captured in uniform, it is clear that he is a soldier of the enemy.  But without a uniform…?

The problem is, where are the witnesses?  Are we going to call soldiers back from Iraq and Afghanistan to testify?  Well, Congress is going to have to go back to work and answer that question.  Even so, we are not fighting WWII-style, in which soldiers did only one tour of duty.  We rotate our soldiers now, and they can testify when they are home.

So while I do not really like the decision, I think it is the right one.

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The price of gas should force us to invest in alternative energy sources on economic grounds alone. The fact that much of the world’s readily available oil supply is in the hands of would be dictators like Chavez, or established dictators like the Saudi’s or outright religious lunatics like the Mullahs of Iran should force us to invest in alternative sources of energy, on security grounds alone. The fact that the much of the Western World (Britain, Germany, France Japan) already have adopted nuclear energy as that alternative should give us pause as to why we have not. That a ‘carbon-free’ source of energy would improve air quality by reducing emission particulates, ozone and carbon monoxide is established fact. The impact of carbon dioxide emission leading to Global Warming, while not a proven fact, is something to consider. If we reduce our carbon footprint, without buying carbon credits, Al Gore will go broke; such a laudable goal is worthy of a Manhattan Project.

Nuclear power is the only alternative that is anywhere near cost effective. The rest of the current crop of alternatives are economic losers. Research and development will be required on a massive scale for many of these ideas. Solar and geothermal power are untested in the market on an industrial scale. Wind power has been tried in CA and required huge capital expenditure for little energy, and is economically uncompetitive; even with $100+ per barrel oil, it will require a technological breakthrough to become viable. These lines of development effort have all three of the economic millstones around their necks: high-cost, high-risk and indeterminate schedule. All of these economic millstones make the alternative energy schemes attractive to the Democrats and their friends in ELF, Green Peace and the Sierra Club.

Nuclear power is a proven source of power that is used world wide. Nuclear power has been used for years. Proven nuclear power plant designs exist. In short, in comparison to the other alternatives nuclear power is low cost, low risk, and critically, has a determinant schedule. In a market that has not been politically skewed, as ours is, this power source would not be confined to less than ten percent of the energy production. This skewing is the result of lobbying by the likes of Green Peace and pandering by the likes of the Democrats.

In France and Japan nuclear energy accounts for the majority of the electrical energy production. Britain, Germany and Scandinavia are not far behind. All of these countries (and regions) are far more heavily populated than the United States. Why are we waiting? These countries’ nuclear programs, along with our current aging nuclear power plants, have provided us with proven, safe, and reliable field-tested designs. These countries are not as heavily impacted by the current energy crisis as we are because they have a nuclear cushion. Why are we allowing our economy to be wreaked?

What are we waiting for? We only lack the political will to overcome and defeat the Sierra Club, Green Peace and ELF and other members of the environmentalist/anti-humanist lobby. We also need to over come the coal and oil lobbies that work behind the scenes with the enviro-whackos. This is the irony, the self anointed champions of the environment are actually harming it due to their ignorance and fear. Ignorance and fear have lead to many stupid and evil outcomes in the past, this is one problem that has an ‘on-the-shelf’ solution, need we wait for things to get worse?

In just a few hours, they’ll be out on the practice range at Torrey Pines tuning up for the start of the 2008 U.S. Open.

Part of the beauty of this year’s Open is that it will be eminently viewable for those of us on the East Coast who happen to consider golf a superb spectator sport. NBC and ESPN will be taking advantage of the Pacific Time lag to provide many hours of prime time coverage. And why not? Prime time, Thurs-Sunday, in mid-June, is generally no great shakes.

Thursday and Friday will present a fantastic subplot (or subplots), with the number 1 group of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott playing together at the end of each day, and Woods coming off a nearly two-month break since undergoing arthroscopic surgery. Will Woods be rusty – and will that matter at the San Diego course which he has dominated for most of this decade? Will this provide a psychological opening for Mickelson, whose pairings with Woods have usually provided enjoyable drama?

It will be interesting to watch, for everyone lucky enough to be home the next few evenings. As it turns out, that group will not include me because I am facing a number of uncharacteristically busy nights the entire weekend. The only way I would be able to see this great drama unfold would be to DVR the telecast and watch after I get home from my various commitments, staying up into the wee hours of the morning – and as regular NVTH readers know, I would never do such a thing.

If you don’t watch golf, I feel sorry for you. And if you actually play golf, I feel sorrier for you still. Because I consider golf the perfect spectator sport. Not only does a major golf tournament provide an unmatched battle of wits and sheer skill, tailor made for the sports enthusiast, but to play the game at any level approaching competence requires such a gargantuan investment of time and money that the pure spectator gets the added boost of remembering how much time and money he has saved by staying off the links entirely. I hoist a cold one to celebrate Tiger’s fabulous wins. I hoist a second to celebrate the fact I’ve never paid a greens fee, but instead have gone fishing and shooting, read books, done some writing and recording, rabble-roused, spent time with the wife and kids, that my entire recreational wardrobe has never been near an iron or dry cleaners, and that’s the way it’ll be until the day I die.

So it should be fun to watch this weekend.

Western civilization, born in ancient Greece and Rome, nurtured in Northern Europe, and matured in the United States and Canada, is dying.  More specifically, we are killing ourselves.  According to the CDC, the (age adjusted) white fertility rate in 2005 was only 1,840 live births per 1000 women aged 15-44, well below the replacement birth rate (See Table 15).  To compare apples to apples, that CDC report of non-age-adjusted white fertility rate was 58.4 live births in 2004.  Meanwhile the abortion rate was 10 per 1,000 women in that age group.  That would work out to another 469 live births, putting the total fertility rate up over 2,300 per 1,000 white women of child-bearing age, well above the replacement rate.

Blacks fare a little better.  Although their abortion rate (28 vs. 10) was higher, the Black Total Fertility Rate (TFR) was 2,020. The Hispanic abortion rate is 26.0 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age, but their TFR is 2,824.5.  (The rate for Mexicans in America was 3,021.0!)

The same trend is occurring in Europe, Russia, and Japan.

We are told that the wages of Sin is Death (Romans 6:23).  We are dying.

From the local right-wing rag:

On Iraq’s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements “were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.”

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements “were substantiated by intelligence information.”

On chemical weapons, then? “Substantiated by intelligence information.”

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? “Generally substantiated by available intelligence.” Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.”

…statements regarding Iraq’s support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda “were substantiated by the intelligence assessments,” and statements regarding Iraq’s contacts with al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.”

Here is the report. Start about page 16 and every 5 or so pages are the “Conclusion” paragraphs.

The intelligence was problematic – but as the report amply demonstrates both Democrats and Republicans drew the same conclusions about the threat. As Hiatt notes in his editorial, we must wait and see what a future administration will do about future threats, about which side it will err on.

Details at SBE. Also, here.

Vern McKinley was not quite as far behind in Warren County (80-20%), Manassas Park City (85-15%) and Winchester City (85-14%).

But still pretty far behind overall. It’s no small thing to throw one’s hat in the ring, so thanks to Vern and his family for making the attempt.

Frank Wolf has all the head of steam he needs to gear up for Judy Feder.

Unless I’ve lost track of things, which is highly usual for me, I believe that today is voting day to pick our candidate in the 10th District.  It may be small potatoes (or “taters” if your southern) but, again, a message needs to be sent loud and clear.  Sure the established elite have the dominant hand of things but slowly we will regain control from them.  How you ask?  By going to the polls, conventions, primaries, town halls and any other venue where our voices will be heard.  “Our voices” coming from BOTH sides.  That is what a democracy is about.  Unfortunately, some have forgotten that and there have been underhanded dealings happening-at least from a blindman’s perspective.  Okay.  From my prospective and in my opinion.  Regardless, we need to take back the process and give back to the people.  That can only be done by voting.

Don’t be dismayed if your candidate doesn’t “make it” this time.  There will be more opportunities.  After all, if at first you don’t succeed,……..